I never know quite what to say in these types of situations, but I guess it’s necessary when you start a blog. How do you define yourself? Heck if I know. So I’ll just dive in.
My name is Elle. I’ve been collecting gemstones for my entire life, but only within the last 7 years have they been elevated to gem quality. I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology I have only sort of used, and I used to be a pastry chef before getting my degree. In regards to my education, I actually started out majoring in Art History but was scared off by the foreign language requirement. When I was a little kid, I wanted to be an interior decorator and considered pursuing that avenue as an adult, until the economy went bust.
Color has always meant so much to me. I grew up with a mother who was terrified of painting walls a different color besides white. However, she painted the walls of my childhood room a beautiful pale buttery yellow and I can still remember that exact shade. When I was a teenager, I almost gave my mom an anxiety attack when I told her I had painted my room a bright turquoise when she wasn’t home. In reality, I had painted one wall with a super pale shade of periwinkle blue, that, depending on the lighting, was either indistinguishable from white, or in the evening light appeared to be a light-medium periwinkle/violet. By the time she had gotten home, she had forgotten about my painting shenanigans and didn’t even notice the change of color for several days. The last car I bought was largely dependent on the color, and I have kept that car because I haven’t found one with a color I like more.
The past year or so, I’ve been seeking out stones to complete my own personal rainbow of gemstones, and I’m getting close to finishing. I don’t feel like I’m strong on the purple end of things, but I’ve recently accumulated a few warmer colors that I had previously shied away from: pink, red and orange. I have entirely too many cooler colored spinels, which is fitting because spinels are by far my favorite gemstone. I typically wear rings if I wear any jewelry at all, so I don’t really own or wear many necklaces or earrings.
I’ve been taking photographs since I could get my hands on the camera and I really enjoy taking more abstract or textural shots, as well as portraits. I’ve never really gotten into painting beyond experimenting, but I love to draw.
I got into gemstones when I was seeking out an engagement ring. I started out looking for a Swiss Blue Topaz, and after doing some research, ended up with a blue spinel instead. Since then, I haven’t stopped, and have branched out so much more than I could have imagined when I started.
I also started custom designing settings for my stones because I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for, and figured that designing for myself and having someone make it and set the stones would be easier than fruitless searching. Since then, I have designed for friends and for jewelers. I tend to prefer to design one of a kind pieces with a touch of whimsy for colored stones, rather than making something that someone down the street has too. I have been looking into learning how to fabricate jewelry myself, but my options are limited in my area.
I started selling stones and jewelry items for friends who didn’t want to sell their items themselves several years ago, just for fun. I’ve been consigning gems and jewelry items for the last few years, as well as acting as a personal gem shopper for people sometimes as well. I genuinely enjoy finding secondhand pieces that can be made into something new, specifically settings and antique diamonds while combining them with colored stones, and I do this for my own collection as well.
I feel like this got a bit longer and more wordy than I intended! I can tend to be long-winded.
With that, I’ll leave you with a few images of one of my favorite pieces, a ring I designed for myself using antique diamonds (single, Old European, modern round brilliant and baguette cut) and a Barry Bridgestock cut tsavorite (green garnet) in 14kt white gold. Pictured with the ring are two bands, both consisting of antique diamonds.